West Fraser Mills is asking the Village of Fraser Lake to exempt a new project from new taxes, stating it proposes to invest $42 million earmarked for a bio-energy project at its sawmill in Fraser Lake.
The Fraser Lake mill owners hope that by tabling a bylaw under S226 of the Community Charter Act, it will exempt their plant from civic taxes by any increased assessment values that would result from the power project over the next 10 years.
“An investment in green bio-energy meets those objectives and criteria,” mill vice-president Ray Ferris and general manager Scott MacDougall wrote adding,
“In the current highly competitive market our $42 million investment will help secure the existing plant, logging and trucking jobs.”
The power plant was selected by BC Hydro for its Phase 2 Power call that would generate in the range of 90 GWh of green power using sawmill and roadside bush trimmings, including logged trees from pine beetle kill.
According to BC Hydro’s website, West Fraser Mills and Western Bioenergy, a subsidiary of French energy firm Dalkia will be paid around $150 a megawatt hour, about double what most sawmills are paid for power they generate by burning wood waste.
Hydro’s website notes three other bio-energy proposals selected by BC Hydro include generators at mills in Fort St. James, Chetwynd and Merrit.